Getting around Apple’s 100 VIP limit

Apple’s VIP list has changed how I use e-mail. Introduced in iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, the feature allows users
to create a priority inbox of certain people you label as important.”

It really allowed me to get control of my e-mail and be notified of messages only from people I want to hear from immediately. (Also, it’s fun to tell people that you’ve added them as VIPs).

On my iOS devices, I’ve turned off all sound and vibrations notifications for incoming mail. Then in notification preferences, I turned them on just for VIPs. Not only that, I configured it so notifications appear on the lock screen and as drop-down notifications when I’m doing other things on my phone. It’s allows me to spend nights and weekends without constantly checking my inbox. As a journalist, it’s important to be notified when news breaks and e-mail is often the way its delivered. It’s also nice to know when friends and family send me something.

But once I started using the VIPs, however, I was stunned to see this prompt on OSX:


No, it’s not OK and I don’t want to take people off the list. What to do? I found a pretty cool, and easy workaround to this: just add people as VIPs via iOS.

So in an e-mail on my phone or iPad, I click on a contact. Up comes the contact page and at the bottom there is a prompt that says Add to VIP.” And it works. Somehow, iOS knows nothing of the 100-VIP limit and the service has not broken.


It’s like breaking an imaginary fire capacity at my digital inbox club.

December 16, 2013